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Beyond distinction: tastes, cultural practices and class in São Paulo City

Abstract

The project aims to understand how the relationships between social space and symbolic space are currently configured, having the city of São Paulo as the locus of investigation and considering recent social changes, especially in the Brazilian context. From the theoretical-methodological framework developed by Pierre Bourdieu, the extensive multi-method research seeks to specify what are the social determinants of cultural tastes and practices, and if cultural capital occupies any place in class and stratification dynamics in the analyzed configuration. However, the research also takes into account elements complexifying the Bourdieusian framework, such as the growing global circulation of goods, practices and people, the expansion of means of cultural production and consumption with the dissemination of ICTs, the importance of differentiation markers (such as genre, race, etc.) for groups formation, the transformations in the Brazilian educational system in the last years and the very expansion of the meanings of culture, paying attention to the market and the State's agency in such processes. Within a broad international debate and in order to review, update and situate these questions, the research attempts to elucidate if the cultural dimension participates in the construction of relational proximities and distances among groups/classes. The goal is thus to investigate if considered legitimate cultural practices are linked to the production of groups and space, demarcating belongings, exclusions and hierarchies. The purpose is, therefore, comprehending if and how cultural capital is nowadays defined, becomes "symbolic power" and takes part in contemporary dynamics of stratification. (AU)

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